The garden, which had a trial run last year, has expanded and will now offer 250-square-foot Community plots and 1,000- to 1,500-square-foot Market plots.
Taylor Dozier, the mall’s general manager, said much of the plowing, cover crop seeding, and path laying to create more plots on Orion Drive in Decatur have been completed and plots are now available for productive farming.
The garden’s goal is to create a seasonal farmers market that includes outside vendors from the community.
Interested gardeners and organizers met in December to discuss issues, and Dozier said plot assignments and other details will be finalized this month.
“We’ll be busy until then though removing clumps of grass and some rocks, adding soil amendment [per our soil report] and general organic material to help the soil, and creating compost bins and our irrigation system using rain barrels,” he said.
Individuals and families who want to support resources for the garden or to tend their own plot can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 404-320-7960.
To prepare for the growing season that will run through Nov. 10, a Bhutanese refugee family helped to transform part of the idle flood plain as a trial run for the urban community garden.
Organizers said the trial was to evaluate potential problems that might hinder a productive garden. Keep DeKalb Beautiful provided compost and mulch and the Atlanta Community Food Bank provided many of the seeds used.
The Global Growers Network has been involved in planning and coordination, and the garden is supported by District 2 DeKalb Commissioner Jeff Rader.
The initial plot was 100 feet long by 60 feet wide and was farmed by a Bhutanese refugee family whose members live less than a mile from the mall. The community garden will continue to have a refugee section.
The grass field was plowed by A Girl and Her Tractor, then tilled into rows. The garden included eggplant, heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, peppers, okra, bush beans, mustard, French marigolds, African marigolds, sunflowers, zinnias, watermelon, cantaloupe and basil.
North DeKalb Mall, which is owned by Hendon Properties LLC, was the primary leader in the trial effort and is seeking other interested groups like neighborhoods and churches to participate by having their own plots or volunteering to help new gardeners.
Neighbor Stiver’s Subaru became the first sponsor by donating a tool shed. Other friends and sponsors are needed to help with a tool drive; acquiring plants (heirloom varieties and blueberry bushes, for example) and fertilizers (i.e., manure, compost and worm castings).
Funding for a irrigation system is also needed.
Garden partners will be recognized on the mall Web site as well as other benefits.
For more information, contact Taylor Dozier at email@example.com or 404-320-7960.